By Sister M.M. Hurst, T.H. McArthur
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But it is only occasionally that uranium ore occurs in a form that is visibly crystalline. When it does, the crystals are isometric and show faces of the octahedron. Some crystals fluoresce when ultra-violet light is shone on them and show colours quite unlike their usual 'daylight' colours. Look at the colour plate of franklinite ore. These and other properties, taken together, make it possible to know one kind of crystal from another. THE INSIDE STORY You will realise by now that there is a certain order and regularity about crystals.
A transis tor will contro l and amplify electri c curren ts that vary not at all, or slowly, or at a freque ncy as high as a hundre d million times a second . That seems an enorm ously high freque ncy, but the freque ncy of light waves by which our eyes functio n is more than a hundre d million million vibrati ons a second . It is these freque ncies which the new invent ion will amplify. It is called a LASE R (lay-zer). The letters for the word stand for: Light Amplification by Stimul ated Emission of Radiat ion.
It gets its name from Muscovy, the old name for Russia, where it was an early form of window glass. It is a very good electric insulator and you may be able to get a piece from a broken electric iron or an old radio valve. You can split it, almost indefinitely, into thinner sheets. You might guess by looking at this sixsided crystal that it belongs to the hexagonal system. Actually it is a monoclinic crystal; one axis is inclined at an angle which is not a right angle. Galena, a common form of lead ore, splits easilv in three directions at right angles 10 each other.
Crystals (Longman Physics Topics) by Sister M.M. Hurst, T.H. McArthur